Sources from the State Forestry Bureau said in Guangzhou Tuesday that, to date, a total of 1,405 nature reserves have been established in China.
The nature reserves, covering a combined area of 109 million hectares, have effectively protected 85 percent of China's wildlife species and 65 percent of its wild floral species.
Ma Fu, deputy director of the State Forestry Bureau, said China has also made great strides in protecting internationally endangered biological species by signing agreements with a large number of countries to mutually protect such rare animal species as migratory birds and tigers.
According to him, China's nature reserves have won wide acclaim from the international community. Twenty-two Chinese nature reserves have been listed in the "human and biosphere" protection network sponsored by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and 21 have been registered with the internationally significant swamp directory.
In the future, China will quicken the pace of building nature reserves at the headwaters of its major rivers, as well as in the country's major forests and swamps.
(Xinhua News Agency December 17, 2002)